One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Three Thinkers and the Divine

"What is absurd is the confrontation between the sense of the irrational and the overwhelming desire for clarity which resounds in the depths of man."

-Albert Camus

The human existence is controlled, monitored, and viewed to assume a predictable pattern. The extent to which this occurs, however, can partly be determined by the individual. Albert Camus passionately argues that faith and religious conviction are but pointless measures constructed by man to provide faulty purpose and avoid responsibility. Fidelity to these practices thus serves to create a perceived comforting, sugarcoated structure to lifean effort which Camus strongly regards as futile. Alexander Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Naguib Mahfouz's The Thief and the Dogs both examine Camus' thesis. Using irony and characterization, they challenge organized religion and question the necessity and practicality of faith in society.

From The Myth of Sisyphus we find that Camus, although not a nihilist, believes that nothing divine nor absolute exists and that many people use faith in a higher being as a crutch to avoid living and taking responsibility for life. Camus' world deems divine forces such as God unlikely;...

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